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Rules for Preventing Corruption Among Judges
The Supreme People's Court Thursday issued a code that sets down 13 rules for the Chinese judges, warning any violation could lead to their removal from the bench.

"The goal is to strengthen corruption prevention mechanisms and standardize the behavior of judges to weed out corruption in the judicial sector and guarantee judicial fairness,'' said Li Yucheng, who is responsible for disciplinary supervision in the Supreme People's Court.

Behavior such as corruption, taking bribes, securing a confession by torture, concealing or making up evidence and abuse of power to violate the legitimate rights of any individual or organization is strictly prohibited.

Judges are also warned against passing wrong verdicts that cause great losses.

The code took effect yesterday upon its release.

The code is the latest effort by the Supreme People's Court to build a clean contingent of judges.

It stipulates that judges should not engage in business for profits, adding they should be barred from meeting parties or their lawyers in private and accepting gifts.

Judicial corruption was an issue that received a large amount of complaints in the late 1990s. The Supreme People's Court launched an intensive campaign in 1998 to rectify it.

That was followed by continued emphasis on the moral integrity of judges in a five-year reform program.

Li admitted a few judges have failed to resist temptation to become corrupt.

Under the new code, judges who break the rules will receive a warning, be disciplined, demoted or fired. Those who have committed crimes will be prosecuted according to criminal law.

(People's Daily June 20, 2003)

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